Sunday, June 21, 2020

Biscoff Chocolate Cookies

I decided to make a cookie version of the Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies that we love. It’s a soft chocolate cookie with chocolate chips in it and Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread as a filling in the “thumbprint” that I made with a pastry tamper, but you can use your thumb if you don’t have one.

I didn’t measure how much Biscoff I put on each cookie. I just took a spoon and partly filled the indent that I made. You don’t want to fill it with too much. 

Biscoff Chocolate Cookies 

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 (3.7-oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1/4 c. cocoa
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 (12-oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 – ½ c. Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread

In mixing bowl combine the butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed. After scraping down the sides of the bowl, add the pudding mix and cocoa, and mix on low until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to other ingredients and mix on low just until combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix on low only for about 30 seconds.

Measure 2.5 ounces on a kitchen scale or about 1/4 cup for each cookie. Form into balls of dough and flatten slightly. Make indentation in the middle of each cookie. Put spoonful of Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread in indentation. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or use parchment paper. Place cookie dough on baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes, or until edges have set. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before placing on cooking rack. 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Whole30 Steak Bites with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers

I saw this recipe at Our Salty Kitchen and wanted to make it since it had a different combination of vegetables than I usually use and it looked so juicy. It was tender and flavorful and even my pickiest eater ate the sweet potatoes and said she liked it. That was a big surprise for me!

The recipe calls for coconut aminos. I've never used it, but saw that it is a soy sauce substitute that is gluten-free, soy-free and made from coconut-blossom nectar. It is allowed on the Paleo and Whole30 diets (which this recipe is). I'm not following any specific diet, so I just used soy sauce since I had it and the coconut aminos is more expensive.

Whole30 Steak Bites with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers
1 lg. sweet potato (about 12 oz.), diced 1" pieces
1 t. sea or kosher salt
1 lb. flat iron steak, diced 1" pieces
3 T. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced 1" pieces
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 T. coconut aminos
2 t. cracked black pepper
2 t. fresh cilantro, chopped
Place the diced sweet potatoes into a microwave safe bowl, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with a plate and microwave on high until just barely tender, 4-6 minutes. Stir once halfway through. The potatoes are ready when you can piece one with the tip of a knife and meet just a bit of resistance. Do not overcook. Heat a 12” skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the steak in a single layer. Cook, turning every two minutes, until the pieces are browned and the center is medium, about 10 minutes. Remove the steak from the skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside onto a plate. Add the third tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the sweet potatoes, toss to coat in the fat and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3-4 minutes. Make a well in the center of the pan and add the garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bell pepper and green onions and toss with the potatoes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are bite tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the steak and juices back to the pan along with the coconut aminos. Toss all ingredients and cook an additional 1- 2 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Add the pepper and cilantro, toss, and remove from heat. Portion onto plates, top with additional fresh cilantro if desired, and serve immediately.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart

I let my children choose what dessert they want for their birthday, but Alexander almost never chooses. And he didn't again this year. So I chose to make this chocolate tart for the first time and it turned out chocolaty and addictive. We really like it! We still have some leftover, but not much, and we're already talking about when to have it again. 

The recipe that I found on Epicurious calls for a 9-inch fluted tart pan, but I only have a 10 1/4-inch pan. I added an extra graham cracker to the crust and there was plenty. If you use a 9-inch pan, obviously your tart will be taller than mine. I used bittersweet chocolate chips for the chocolate. It's an easy recipe that ends up looking elegant and tasting heavenly. 

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart
       9 (5 x 2 1/2-in.) chocolate graham crackers, finely
       ground (1 c.)  (Do not use chocolate-covered)
       5 T. unsalted butter, melted
       1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped
2 lg. eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 T. heavy cream
1 3/4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 t. light corn syrup
1 T. warm water
a 9-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep)

Preheat oven to 350° with rack in middle.
Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of 9-inch fluted tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes

Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.

Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water

Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour. Refrigerate if not serving after that.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Phyllo Meat Pie (Egyptian Goulash)

Crunchy and nicely spiced! I found this recipe at The Mediterranean Dish. I added a little bit of crushed red pepper and parsley to it because I was afraid it was going to be bland, but it wasn't.

Phyllo Meat Pie (Egyptian Goulash)

16 oz. pkg. of frozen phyllo dough, thawed in its package
1 c. extra virgin olive oil OR 1/2 c. olive oil combined with 1/2 c. melted butter
1 egg
1 c. milk.

1 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 t. ground allspice
1 t. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Carefully lay the thawed phyllo dough sheets between two lightly damp kitchen towels.

Begin with preparing the meat filling. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan.On medium-high heat, saute the chopped onions briefly. Add the ground beef. Cook until fully browned, tossing regularly. Remove the pan from the heat briefly to drain any fat, then return back to the stove. Add in the spices and stir to fully combine. Remove from the heat.

To assemble the phyllo pie, lay three to four sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Fold any excess dough in. Brush the top phyllo sheet very generously with the melted butter and oil mixture. Repeat this step as you lay three to four sheets of phyllo at a time in the baking pan until you have used up 1/2 of the phyllo sheets.

On top of this half of phyllo sheets, spread the meat filling evenly.

Layer the remaining sheets on top of the meat repeating the same process as before (three or four sheets at a time and butter the top sheet) until the phyllo sheets are used up.

Brush the top sheet very generously with the butter and olive oil mixture. With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into 12 squares.

Beat milk and egg together with salt and pepper and pour evenly over the pie.

Place the phyllo meat pie on the middle rack for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until cooked through and golden brown.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Caramel Kisses-Filled Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I used the recipe for a good, basic banana streusel muffin at In Katrina's Kitchen and added a bunch of goodies. For the first few, I added toffee bits to the batter, but they didn't stay as crunchy as I wanted, so I just topped the rest of them with the toffee instead. 

I had some streusel topping left over, so next time I'll be more generous with that. If you don't like the caramel filled Kisses, you can use whatever kind you like. I always love a surprise inside my treats. And I like these better warm, so I microwave them before eating when they aren't fresh out of the oven. 

Caramel Kisses-Filled Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 ripe bananas
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
15 Caramel Kisses candy

5 T. butter, melted
2/3 c. flour
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350⁰ F and lightly grease 15 muffin cups with cooking spray or put cupcake liners in each.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Whip up bananas using a paddle attachment for 3 – 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. It should end up being about 2 1/2 cups of banana fluff. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of the mixer. Add eggs one at a time and then incorporate the whipped bananas until well blended. Mix in vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared cups.

Melt butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Add the dry ingredients on top. Incorporate the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Drop the crumb topping onto the muffins.

Top each muffin with the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits, distributing them evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Utah Local: Fran's Roots & Wings

My daughters and I were driving around with no destination and ended up in Heber City. We were on Center Street and we passed this house with a cool trailer that caught my eye. My girls saw a sign and said it seemed like a floral shop, so I had to turn around and go check it out. Sabrina stayed in the car, but Elisa and I went over to it and were quickly greeted by Fran, the business owner.

We got to go inside the trailer. It is beautiful and amazing! See??

Then we went behind the trailer to see succulents and other plants for sale.  
We just happened to stop by during Customer Appreciation Week, so we were treated to delicate lemon lavender cake and a caramel apple cider in this beautiful sitting area. 

When I mentioned that she could have weddings here, she told us that she had a baby shower there before and has more room in the back for weddings. The night before we were there, she had stayed up until 2:00 am putting homemaking corsages together and then woke up at 5:00. 

After we bought a succulent and left, I wished that I had taken a photo of Fran, the business owner and sweet hostess. She was warm and friendly and gave us some tips for plants that we already had. Now I'm buying a turkey baster to water my succulents. 

She gave us her business card, so I looked up the business when I got home. She in an events planner and has photos of some amazing weddings she planned. You can see her beautiful work on her site.

If you'd like to stop by her super cute shop, it's at 684 E. Center Street in Heber. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies

Hold me back! These heavenly morsels were sitting there tempting me to eat every last one and they didn't last long at my house. I found this recipe at Taste and Tell, a blog with tons of wonderful recipes. I'm already planning on buying more Biscoff just for this. 

Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. chocolate chips 
1/2 c. butter
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour
1/2 to 1 c. Creamy Biscoff Spread

Preheat the oven to 325º. Line a 9×13” baking dish with foil or parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Place both sugars in the bowl of a mixer. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and the butter together. Once melted and well mixed, pour the melted chocolate mixture in with the sugars. Mix on low to combine, then add the eggs, vanilla and salt and mix.

Add 1/2 cup of the flour, then mix to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Melt the Biscoff spread in a microwave safe bowl for 15-30 seconds. Pour the spread over the brownie batter in 3 long strips lengthwise. Use a knife to swirl the spread, dragging it the opposite direction.

Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Biscoff Chocolate Cookies

I decided to make a cookie version of the  Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies  that we love. It’s a soft chocolate cookie with chocolate chips in ...